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Parents should talk to kids about trafficking


TOPEKA (KSNT) – A local advocacy center is sharing its knowledge on how to protect children from human traffickers. This comes in response to a Topeka woman’s civil lawsuit against a national rideshare company that alleged it trafficked a 13-year-old girl across state lines to Nebraska, where she was held against her will and sexually assaulted. .

According to the Human Trafficking Institute, 449 people were subjected to human trafficking in the United States in 2021. Nearly 60% were minors.

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The LifeHouse Child Advocacy Center of Topeka helps children who have become victims of sexual and physical abuse or who have witnessed violent crime. Executive Director Kelly Durkin says there are steps parents and legal guardians can take to help protect their children from traffickers.

Experts recommend that parents have a conversation with their children to educate them about the real dangers and consequences of human trafficking. It’s also important for parents to become familiar with online apps used by predators to reach children.

Durkin says it’s painful to know that there are people out there who take advantage of children and their trust.

“It just doesn’t feel right because that’s not our job,” Durkin said. “Our job is to take care of them and when we see a child taking advantage of that, it’s painful.”

Durkin encourages parents who are concerned about their children to contact local law enforcement or the child advocacy center for help.

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